Debris, Bodies Found: AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501
D ebris found in the Karimata Strait has been confirmed to be the remains of the airplane which operated as AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501, which disappeared two days ago — and family members and friends reportedly responded in hysteria as they found out the official confirmation via graphic images and footage shown on live television.
As of the time this article was posted, some bodies have been found and recovered; and there are no reports of any survivors. The experienced captain of the airplane had flown 20,537 flight hours in total — 6,100 flight hours with AirAsia Indonesia alone; and a request to change altitude during the flight due to inclement weather conditions in the area was reportedly denied by air traffic control, citing that another aircraft was in the vicinity.
Until two days ago, the safety record of AirAsia and its affiliates and subsidiaries had reportedly been impeccable since it was founded in 1993. I myself have flown as a passenger on airplanes operated by AirAsia more than once. I had no hassles or problems with baggage. The service was fine; the airplanes were clean; the flights departed on time; and the airfares were quite inexpensive. I would absolutely fly as a passenger on airplanes operated by AirAsia in the future if and when the opportunity presents itself.
Here is the official statement from AirAsia from its official Facebook Internet web site:
AIRASIA INDONESIA FLIGHT QZ8501
AS OF 30 DECEMBER 2014 18:00 PM LT (GMT+7)
SURABAYA, 30TH DECEMBER 2014 – AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501, the flight that had lost contact with air traffic control on the morning of 28th.
The debris of the aircraft was found in the Karimata Strait around 110 nautical miles south west from Pangkalan Bun. The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC. There were 155 passengers on board, with 137 adults, 17 children and 1 infant. Also on board were 2 pilots, 4 cabin crews and one engineer.
At the present time, search and rescue operations are still in progress and further investigation of the debris found at the location is still underway. AirAsia Indonesia employees have been sent to the site and will be fully cooperating with BASARNAS, National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), and relevant authorities on the investigation.
Sunu Widyatmoko, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Indonesia said: “We are sorry to be here today under these tragic circumstances. We would like to extend our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of those on board QZ8501. Our sympathies also go out to the families of our dear colleagues.”
Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia added: “I am absolutely devastated. This is a very difficult moment for all of us at AirAsia as we await further developments of the search and rescue operations but our first priority now is the wellbeing of the family members of those onboard QZ8501.”
AirAsia Indonesia will be inviting family members to Surabaya, where a dedicated team of care providers will be assigned to each family to ensure that all of their needs are met. Counsellors, religious and spiritual personnel have also been invited to the family center to provide any necessary services.
Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available. An emergency call centre has been established and available for families seeking information. Family members of QZ8501, please contact:
Malaysia: +60 3 21795959
Indonesia: +62 2129270811
Singapore: +65 63077688
Korea: 007 98142069940
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ8501.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of that doomed flight as well, as I was hoping for a more optimistic outcome; and may those who perished in this tragedy rest in peace…